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Old 03-27-2013   #21
jmm99
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Default A couple of days ago

Half a minute of video, French troops secure Central African Republic airport (0:35)

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Old 04-01-2013   #22
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Must have been a hell of a time for SANDF. Did they get out? I haven't seen anything since then about them actually leaving successfully.
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Old 04-02-2013   #23
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Default Worth reading

Hat tip to Zenpundit for Eeben Barlow's commentary 'Failing to Listen', which talks about the difficulties in getting intelligence accepted and touches upon what happened in the CAR:http://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecuri...to-listen.html

A taster:
Quote:
...not only was the overall SANDF strategy flawed but that the strategy had its foundation resting on poor intelligence – and no strategy can succeed if it is developed off assumptions and rumours.
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Old 04-03-2013   #24
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Quote:
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has paid tribute to 13 soldiers killed in the recent rebellion in the Central African Republic (CAR). At the memorial service, he said they died in CAR's capital Bangui defending South Africa's commitment to promoting peace and stability in Africa. The soldiers were killed as rebels seized power more than a week ago.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22003412

Quote:
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille’s announcement that her party will present a motion in parliament Tuesday to demand the withdrawal of South African troops, comes amid increasingly angry debate over why the soldiers were deployed to Central African Republic at all, and suggestions they were sent to protect mining interests of South Africa’s governing African National Congress. The ANC denies it has any business in the country rich in diamonds, uranium and other resources.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...8f1_story.html

Quote:
A South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, widened the division by alleging that the soldiers were sent to CAR to protect the business interests of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The ANC has dismissed the allegations as unfounded.

"We reject any insinuation that these soldiers were sent to CAR for any reason other than in the pursuit of national interests and the interests of the African continent," President Zuma said.
http://www.dw.de/south-africa-bids-f...ers/a-16715108

Also
http://www.theworld.org/2013/04/outr...ican-republic/
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Old 04-04-2013   #25
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Default SANDF will leave

TV-PressPass asked two days ago:
Quote:
Must have been a hell of a time for SANDF. Did they get out? I haven't seen anything since then about them actually leaving successfully.
This BBC report states the SANDF are to leave, although very little detail:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22025593

Those killed had a military funeral yesterday in Pretoria and the furore over the mission remain. It is noticeable how little reporting there is from CAR, for example no footage of the SANDF or even a map showing were the clash happened, which of course might show this was not a training mission.

I suspect South Africa has had to talk to the new regime in CAR, much against its inclination, then negotiate an exit and rely on the French at the Bangui airport.

The "smoke & mirrors" aspects are covered in this:http://mg.co.za/article/2013-03-28-0...diers-died-for and an opposition South African newspaper Mail & Guardian has extensive coverage:http://mg.co.za/report/the-battle-of-bangui
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Old 04-19-2013   #26
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Default SANDF still there!

In a BBC report on CAR this phrase:
Quote:
South Africa, which lost at least 13 troops during the rebel takeover, has said it is pulling its forces out of CAR.
This is odd, no strange.

Others are going in:
Quote:
The Central African Republic's neighbours have agreed to send an extra 2,000 troops to help restore security following last month's rebel takeover.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22197108
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Old 05-08-2013   #27
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Default Maybe some light on what SANDF were up to?

The following passage is from a Reuters article on Chad's emergence as a regional power:
Quote:
In Central African Republic, Chad's decisive role in the change of government exposed South Africa's pretension of acting as a continental superpower. Pretoria had sent a contingent of some 400 troops to prop up President Francois Bozize.

Deby, who had helped Bozize seize power in a 2003 coup, had tired of Bozize's refusal to share power with the opposition which was stirring up a revolt along Chad's southern border.

The final straw came when Bozize disbanded his Chadian bodyguard and turned to South Africa for military aid. Deby ordered Chad's peacekeepers to step aside and Seleka rebel forces stormed the capital, as France made good on its promise not to intervene militarily.

South Africa's involvement ended with 13 of its soldiers killed, showing Pretoria lacked the regional knowledge and military resources to play a decisive role in Deby's backyard.
Link:http://mobile.reuters.com/article/id...30508?irpc=932
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Old 05-21-2013   #28
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Default AQ training in South Africa?

A very odd South African report, alleging AQ had training facilities in South Africa, which became untouchable and a surveillance operation was closed:
Quote:
The police’s specialised unit, Crimes Against the State (CATS) and the State Security Agency (SSA) have been monitoring the training of al-Qaeda terrorists in South Africa for several years, without taking any action. A year-long investigation by the Daily Maverick’s DE WET POTGIETER has revealed surprising inaction by police despite incriminating evidence about secret military training camps and sophisticated sniper training at three well-documented locations as well as several others across South Africa. These subversive activities have taken place at a farm near the notorious Apartheid police hit squad camp at Vlakplaas outside Pretoria, as well as a secluded farm in the mountains of the Klein Karoo.
Link:http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/artic...-south-africa/

Those accused have exercised the 'right of reply':http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/artic...krat-responds/

Just how South Africa works is a moot point, likewise some of the allegations made. The next one I'd not seen before:
Quote:
The fugitive ‘white widow’ of a 7/7 London bomber was a key link between Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan and their fighters in East Africa, it has emerged. Muslim convert Samantha Lewthwaite, who was married to Kings Cross bomber Germaine Lindsay, spent two years working for the deadly extremist organisation in South Africa using a false name.
Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...me%5Eheadlines

All quite puzzling, as I am sure the USSS are - President Obama has a trip soon to South Africa.

(Added) Found an update on the political reaction from a more well-known, South African defence periodical:http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.ph...d=74&Itemid=30
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Old 05-21-2013   #29
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Default The Battle in Bangui

A very different, detailed report by a long-time, respected South African military commentator; 40 pgs in an e-book:
Quote:
Based on interviews with a number of the officers involved in the mission, both from HQ in Pretoria and on the ground in Bangui, South Africa’s leading military writer and a long-time correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly, Helmoed Heitman describes what happened in Bangui, why President Zuma sent the troops, and what lessons South Africa needs to take out of the events in the CAR. In The Battle in Bangui, Heitman tells the inside story of one of the hardest fought and deadliest operations of the SANDF’s post-apartheid history.What if everything you thought you knew about the Battle of Bangui was wrong? What if there were good reasons for the SANDF to be in the Central African Republic? What if they acquitted themselves well, with valour and resourcefulness?
Link:http://www.mampoer.co.za/helmoed-hei...ttle-in-bangui

Or search on Google for free access copy, where I found it on:www.4x4community.co.za/forum

A short review excerpt:
Quote:
Heitman has no problems with the manner in which the South African soldiers acquitted themselves in the fighting earlier this year. “Do not blame the soldiers and junior leaders: they are doing their best and their best is quite often outstanding,” he says.

He also exonerates the generals for deploying small and/or under-armed forces.

“They can only do the best with what they have. And what they have in terms of the numbers of soldiers, the type of equipment and support capabilities is simply inadequate for the role South Africa’s government wishes to play (in Africa).

“If there is blame it must go to the politicians who starve the Defence Force financially and then expect it to work miracles,” he writes.
Link:http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.ph...316&Itemid=141
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Old 05-22-2013   #30
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Just starting to read through and follow along on google maps.

Looks like an interesting analysis from the excerpts I've seen.
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Old 05-22-2013   #31
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Quote:
The force commander now wanted to use his mobile Special Forces group to drive the enemy further back, but found that the FACA element at the position had parked a bulldozer on the bridge to block it. It took some time to find the driver and move the vehicle, but then the Special Forces began to patrol north to clear the area in front of the position.
Well that would be frustrating. I can't see the bridge being described, but everything else has been clear to follow along with.

Interesting how detailed some of the specifics are. Wonder who all Heitman interviewed?
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Old 08-01-2013   #32
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Default South Africa’s military meltdown

From an unusual direction, the UK-based 'New Statesman' an article on the SANDF, with a sub-title:
Quote:
On the face of it, life continues as normal, but behind the scenes the South African military has been cut to the point where it's doubtful it will be able to live up to its African responsibilities.
Yes the budget has shrunk, but this example alone illustrates it is far more than money:
Quote:
Earlier this month it was revealed that the Air Force has no maintenance contract for the 26 Grippen fighter jets, ordered at great cost in 1999. Without maintenance they aircraft are almost useless....With six trained pilots....
Link:http://www.newstatesman.com/internat...itary-meltdown

Curious that a mixed bag of US units are in the Eastern Cape on an exercise this week:http://www.army.mil/article/107990/U...red_Accord_13/
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Old 10-29-2013   #33
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Default Justice moves slowly

I'd nearly forgotten this plot:
Quote:
The ringleader of a white supremacist plot to assassinate Nelson Mandela and drive black people out of South Africa has been sentenced to 35 years in jail.

Former university lecturer Mike du Toit was convicted last year of treason for his leadership role in the plot, after a trial lasting nine years.

Twenty other members of his white supremacist militia Boeremag were also jailed for between five and 35 years.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24725177
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Old 12-06-2013   #34
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Mandela died today.

I am curious about what people think this will mean for the RSA. Will his passing send the country down the Zimbabwe road? Did his mere existence act as a restraint on the people who might be inclined to lead it that way?

What do people think? (calling JMA. calling JMA.)
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Old 12-07-2013   #35
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Carl, due to massive corruption and world leading incidence of violent crime South Africa was already heading down that road (when Mandela was alive).

I find that fellow South Africans tend to express an opinion on the future based on wishful thinking and/or pitiful hope. The prognosis is not good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Mandela died today.

I am curious about what people think this will mean for the RSA. Will his passing send the country down the Zimbabwe road? Did his mere existence act as a restraint on the people who might be inclined to lead it that way?

What do people think? (calling JMA. calling JMA.)
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Old 12-08-2013   #36
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Mandela's radicalism often ignored by Western admirers

http://america.aljazeera.com/article...e-radical.html

Quote:
As a global statesman of grace and humility, he was long courted by Western leaders drawn by his irresistible story of triumph over tyranny. Yet Mandela, who died on Dec. 5 at 95, was also a more radical and politically complex figure than has been commonly acknowledged by his admirers in the West
.

No surprise the media creates enduring myths that disguise the complexity and distort the reality. The media dismisses the word "and" all too often from its narrative, yes Mandela fought oppression, and he......

Quote:
"If you talk to many American liberals, they think Mandela was Martin Luther King," Ellis said. "If you say, 'No, Mandela started a guerrilla army, he was a communist, he did this, he did that,' they just don't get it. They don't know what you're talking about."

Yet even later, as South African president from 1994 to 1999, Mandela would irk his friends in the West by expressing solidarity with leaders such as Cuba's Castro and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, as well as finding common cause with the Palestinians in their struggle for statehood.
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Old 12-08-2013   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMA View Post
Carl, due to massive corruption and world leading incidence of violent crime South Africa was already heading down that road (when Mandela was alive).

I find that fellow South Africans tend to express an opinion on the future based on wishful thinking and/or pitiful hope. The prognosis is not good.
You're right. I guess my question actually should have been will the trek down the road to Zimdom accelerate now that Mandela is dead. I guess it will, but then it may be a matter of how quick a cancer kills you; this week, next week-you're still going to die.

I saw that wishful thinking/pitiful hope when I was in RSA for a few months some years ago. A 15 year old son of an acquaintance was bothered because they changed the name of Pietersburg to Polokwane even though the town had been founded by the Boers. So he wrote a letter to Mbeki about it. It was such a sad thing to see. This poor white kid actually thought that somebody in the gov would give a dam about what he thought or why he thought it. So sad.

In view of what may happen to the RSA in the years to come, where will the people who want to leave go? When Rhodesia was no more, people could drive to the RSA I imagine. Where will they go now? What countries are open?
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Old 12-08-2013   #38
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Default Leaving South Africa

Carl asked:
Quote:
In view of what may happen to the RSA in the years to come, where will the people who want to leave go? When Rhodesia was no more, people could drive to the RSA I imagine. Where will they go now? What countries are open?
"Taking the gap" in Rhodesia started long before independence as Zimbabwe in 1980, partly due to the demands of military service, having a young family, some transferable assets, personal skills and a passport that others accepted. Yes many went to South Africa, although a good number used RSA as a stepping stone.

I am aware of good numbers of ex-Rhodesians ending up in Canada, New Zealand, UK, a few in the USA and lots in Australia. There are even small numbers in Africa - farmers mainly - and around the Gulf, mainly pilots.

Whether this emigration pattern is repeated with RSA is a moot point. A few years ago there were a good number of young, white South Africans in London who had ample transferable skills. Large numbers are in Australia, especially Perth - which has a booming economy, based on mining - and now has a full-time rugby team, reflecting the changes.

Will the relatively new Portuguese community in RSA look to Brazil and the former, nearby colonies? I expect the shallow foundations of the German business community have not stood up to the new pressures.
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Old 12-13-2013   #39
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Carl, I waited to see who would cut through the crap...

Simon Jenkins of the Guardian finally did:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ty-of-goodness
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Old 12-13-2013   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Carl asked:
Will the relatively new Portuguese community in RSA look to Brazil and the former, nearby colonies? I expect the shallow foundations of the German business community have not stood up to the new pressures.
Interestingly, there's a fairly significant Portuguese community here in New Jersey. In most of the family owned businesses around here, you can walk in and speak Portuguese and be understood. A good chunk of the folks at the plant I work at are Portuguese immigrants too (many coming from the colonies in Africa). I wonder if that would continue?
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